What Next, For the Victims of Kenya’s Post-Election Violence?

(posted on International Justice Monitor)

On April 5, 2016, Trial Chamber V of the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided by majority to terminate the case against William Samoie Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang. The defendants had been accused of crimes against humanity in relation to Kenya’s 2007-2008 post-election violence. While the ICC may never determine the identity of those responsible for these crimes (the Ruto and Sang decision is currently open for appeal, and the ICC’s investigation in Kenya is still technically ongoing), there is no doubt that the violence left thousands of victims in its wake.

Where does the apparent conclusion of this case leave the victims of Kenya’s post-election violence? It is important to note that trials are continuing in domestic courts, and as recently as last month, victims appeared before the Kenyan High Court, describing their ongoing mental anguish and asking for compensation for their suffering.

For these victims, reparations are not just necessary to ease their suffering or to set them on the path toward economic empowerment. There is an international obligation on the part of the Kenyan government to provide them, for which there has been wavering respect.

Under international law, States have a well-established legal duty to provide reparation for gross violations of international human rights law and serious violations of international humanitarian law. The UN General Assembly adopted basic principles and guidelines of the right to a remedy and reparation for victims in 2005, and Kenya’s constitution and national laws also recognize the rights of victims in this regard.

Read More http://www.ijmonitor.org/2016/05/what-next-for-the-victims-of-kenyas-post-election-violence/

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